Mambo Man Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Pure Pleasure

by | Aug 9, 2021 | Jazz CD Reviews, SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

Mambo Man Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Tumi Music/Pure Pleasure Records 180-gram stereo double vinyl ****1/2

A Cuban music celebration is released as an exciting double vinyl. 

(Featuring Feverson; Eliades Ochoa & Maria Ochoa & Alma Latina; Afro-Cuban All Stars & Juan De Marcos Gonzalez; Candido Fabre; Arturo Jorge; Julio Montoro; David Alvarez; Omara Potuando; Orchest Simfonia de Cuba)

Directed by Mo Fini and Edesio Alejandro, Mambo Man is a reflection of life in post-Communist Cuba. The central character, J.C. is a local “big shot” who is balancing the unlikely worlds of farming and music promotion. As events unfold, his life and the surrounding community become jeopardized by well-meaning naïveté, and a mysterious encounter. Tumi Music and Pure Pleasure Records has released a double vinyl 180-gram soundtrack of Mambo Man. It features live performances by various legendary Cuban artists. Traditional genres, including Guaracha, Trova and Son are capably represented on this album. 

This rhythmic, organic compilation is ear-pleasing. Starting with the horn-infused dance-tempos of the instrumental “A Los Soneros”, a transcendental footprint is developed. In a slower groove, “Brisa Mananero” showcases the terrific vocals of Maria Eliades Ochoa with a sprightly arrangement.With salsa resonance, the Afro-Cuban All-stars sparkle on “Cada Vez Que Te Veo”. This vibe continues on”Carretero”. A heartfelt performance of “Como Las Mariposas” has subtle tempo, but emotional substance. Acoustic-based arrangements resonate equally. “De Cauto Cristo a Rio Cauto” (Arturo Jorge) has mild percussion, spirited chorus and even some whistling. The musicians strong national identity is always represented, especially in “De Cuba Vengo y Cubano Soy”. A string addition to the guitars is a nice touch. The relentless joy of the music shines on “Descarga Cubana”, with some nice fiddle, flute and horn work. The sequencing of the music is effective and the mood is rarely interrupted.

For those with an affinity for the titular musical genre, “Maidel Mambo” is tightly cohesive with piano/percussion anchoring this jam, and alternating piercing/sultry horn choruses.The title track is evocative of the film’s narrative and has pronounced string accents, an ethereal piano and march-time drum. In a change of pace, “Nada De Ti” has a dreamy slow-dance vibe and a shared vocal. The folk charm of Cuban music permeates the subtly buoyant instrumental “No Critiques El Nene”. Arturo Jorge returns for a pair of songs, “Pa Apart lo Malo” and “Quiero Cantar Son del Llano”. In a gentle swaying jazzy number, “Romance” resonates with gossamer sentiment. The mood shifts back to party atmosphere on “Son Para Envidosos”. In what sounds like a classical music homage (“There Is Still Hope”), the plaintive solo piano establishes a melody that is filled in by orchestra. It becomes sweeping and cinematic. The finale “Yo Quiero Gozar” is as advertised for the listener.

Mambo ManOriginal Motion Picture Soundtrack is an historical cultural document. All of the flavors of Cuban music are expressed with celebration and reverence. While viewing the film provides narrative context, the songs are viscerally enjoyable by themselves.  

TrackList:
Side A: A Los Soneros; Brisa Mananera (Mambo man Film Version); Cada Vez Que Te Veo; Carretero; Como Las Mariposas
Side B: De Cauto Cristo a Rio Cauto; De Cuba Vengo y Cubano Soy; Descarga Cubana; Finca Santaelana; La Vida
Side C: Maidel Mambo; Mambo Man (Ella es Asi); Nada de Ti; No Critiques El Nene; Pa Apartat lo Malo; Quiero Cantar Son del Llano
Side D: Romance; Son Para Envidiosos; There Is Still Hope; Yo Quiero Gozar. 

—Robbie Gerson

For more information, please visit vendor Acoustic Sounds website:

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Mambo man soundtrack, Album Cover

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